“Southeast Seattle Needs Outdoor Pickleball Courts Now: The Saga”

Did you know that (as of Spring 2021) there are no official public outdoor pickleball court lines anywhere in Southeast Seattle. None in Beacon Hill, Brighton, Columbia City, Dunlap, Genesee, Hillman City, Lakeridge, Lakewood, Seward Park, Mount Baker, New Holly, North Beacon Hill (both 2 & 3), Othello, Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley, Rainier View, Rainier Vista, or South Beacon Hill. That is, no outdoor pickleball court lines south of Capitol Hill and East of I-5.

We are not even talking about pickleball courts here. We are just talking about painted lines.

In this pickleball desert, some local residents thirsty for some outdoor pickleball have taken it upon themselves to paint pickleball court lines on the public tennis courts at Dearborn Park and Brighton Playfield. Just to be clear: this is neither approved by the Seattle Parks Department nor endorsed by the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association.

It’s not that there is a lack of people wanting to play pickleball in Southeast Seattle. The largest and most diverse community of pickleball players in Seattle has been playing indoors for years at the Rainier Community Center before the pandemic. And the Jefferson Community Center has hosted sizeable pickleball events through the Lifelong Recreation program and through Smash Pickleball for a long time as well.

Now, the Southeast Seattle players have petitioned the Seattle Parks Department to get some public outdoor pickleball court lines. Their story is unfolding. Read all about it by following the links below.

Episode 1: The Petition
Episode 2: Dear Superintendent
Episode 3: Hello!
Episode 4: We are pleased to offer you the least desirable courts
Episode 5: We ask that you reconsider the three requests in our petition and address them one by one
Episode 6: A slap in the face
Episode 7: Greetings Mayor Durkan
Episode 8: Since the mayor asked, the Parks department’s Deputy Superintendent steps in
Episode 9: It is incumbent upon SPR to articulate why it is policy to preserve the interests of one recreational community over another
Episode 10: Why Is SPR Choosing to Treat Southeast Seattle Differently From the Rest of the City?
Episode 11: Please Write
To be continued…